Saudi Post to be privatised?

As part of a wider plan to privatise many of the Kingdom’s public services, the Saudi government has indicated that it wishes to privatise its postal operator, Saudi Post. The announcement was made by Telecommunications minister Mohammed al-Suwaiyal, who may well begin the process of privatisation next year.

Reuters published a report that indicates that the privatisation of Saudi Post could well be a test case for a series of state asset sales. The report also said that the government was setting up a holding company with a number of subsidiary companies providing services including mail, courier delivery, e-commerce and financial remittances.

“I cannot set a time frame but I expect by the start of 2017 the picture will be clear and execution starts,” the telecoms minister was quoted saying. The government has yet to decide how much of Saudi Post it will offer for sale, and whether to go the initial public offering (IPO) route.

The Saudi Post privatisation is likely to attract a number of big players due to the size of the Kingdom and its good relationships with western nations as well as their major businesses. The privatisation follows a number of European countries’ postal operator privatisations, in many cases that have been very successful such as PostNord and bpost.